HOUSTON (FOX 26) - “Every year the citizens of the state of Texas pay their $2 per insurance policy,” said HPD Lieutenant Thomas Hardin.
And if you look closely at your bill it states that $2 goes to the Texas Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority.
But over the years, Texas lawmakers have decided to put more than a dollar of that money into the state’s general revenue.
“We’re getting less than one-third of what is now collected for the authority,” said Lieutenant Tommy Hansen with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department.
The money is used to fund auto theft task forces that work in conjunction with each other all over the state.
“These task forces since the beginning have recovered approximately $12 billion in recovered property,” Hansen said.
“Every form of major crime involves a stolen vehicle,” said Hardin.
Task force members say while their funding has remained stagnant auto thieves have become more sophisticated.
“There are professional car burglary rings that break into cars to strictly steal personal information,” Hardin said. “They create fraudulent ID’s and drain people’s bank accounts.”
Task force members say not only are they not getting the funding they say they’re entitled to, they’re worried about talks in Austin of budget cuts.
A house budget committee is considering a 4 percent cut for the task force.
A senate budget committee is considering a whopping 10 percent cut.
“If we lose 10 percent of our budget that’s 10 percent of my manpower I have to cut,” said Hardin.
Task force members say taxpayers should be concerned.
“Your insurance rates are going to go up your frauds are going to go up your burglaries of motor vehicles are going to go up,” said Lieutenant Hal Barrow with the Galveston County Auto Crimes Task Force.